Liverpool FC News: STEVEN GERRARD is ready to return for Liverpool at Newcastle on Saturday – and hand Roy Hodgson a selection dilemma.
Gerrard is on target for a comeback at St James’ Park after missing four matches with a hamstring injury sustained on England duty.
But the Reds boss must decide whether to disrupt the midfield partnership of Raul Meireles and Lucas which has flourished in the skipper’s absence, to accommodate his returning captain, or leave out David Ngog who scored one and set up another in Monday night’s crushing defeat of Aston Villa.
Gerrard is equally influential in whichever role he plays.
Lucas was many pundits’ man of the match against Villa, while Meireles produced another assured performance – justifying his manager’s faith in a man he spent £11m on.
“With Raul Meireles it was always just a question of time,” said Hodgson.
“He came from a different league but I never doubted his quality as a player. I always knew we’d get something out of him because of his exceptional ability.
“I’m sure we’ll get even more out of him now, with the more games he plays as he settles more and more into life in England.”
Lucas, meanwhile, has welcomed the club’s link with Brazil team-mate Ronaldinho.
Reports in Italy have credited Liverpool with a shock move for the AC Milan playmaker when the transfer window reopens in January.
Ronaldinho’s future at Milan has been the subject of speculation for some time, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.
Lucas is unaware of any Anfield interest in Ronaldinho but admits he would love to see the former World Player of the Year join him at Anfield.
“I am not aware of anything in terms of Ronaldinho signing but I would be very happy if this was to happen,” he said.
“We started a friendship when we played in the Olympics and for Brazil. It would be nice to play with him at Liverpool.
“Everyone knows Ronaldinho and they know what he can do.”